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The Joint Mathematics Meetings are taking place this week (January 10 – 13) in San Diego, California, U.S.A. This will be the 101th annual winter meeting of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the 124nd annual meeting of the American Mathematical Society (AMS).

Maplesoft will be exhibiting at booth #505 as well as in the networking area. Please stop by our booth or the networking area to chat with me and other members of the Maplesoft team, as well as to pick up some free Maplesoft swag or win some prizes.

There are also several interesting Maple-related talks and events happening this week - I would definitely not miss the talk by our own Paulina Chin on grading sketch graphs.


Using Symbol-Crunching to find ALL Sucker's Bets (with given deck sizes). 

AMS Special Session on Applied and Computational Combinatorics, II 
Wednesday January 10, 2018, 2:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m.

Shalosh B. Ekhad, Rutgers University, New Brunswick 
Doron Zeilberger*, Rutgers University, New Brunswick 

Collaborative Research: Maplets for Calculus. 

MAA Poster Session: Projects Supported by the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education 
Thursday January 11, 2018, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Philip B. Yasskin*, Texas A&M University 
Douglas B. Meade, University of South Carolina 
Matthew Barry, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service 
Andrew Crenwelge, Texas A&M University 
Joseph Martinson, Texas A&M University 
Matthew Weihing, Texas A&M University


Automated Grading of Sketched Graphs in Introductory Calculus Courses. 

AMS Special Session on Visualization in Mathematics: Perspectives of Mathematicians and Mathematics Educators, I 

Friday January 12, 2018, 9:00 a.m.

Dr. Paulina Chin*, Maplesoft 


Semantic Preserving Bijective Mappings of Mathematical Expressions between LaTeX and Computer Algebra Systems.

AMS Special Session on Mathematical Information in the Digital Age of Science, III 
Friday January 12, 2018, 9:00 a.m.-9:20 a.m.

Howard S. Cohl*, NIST 


Interactive Animations in MYMathApps Calculus. 

MAA General Contributed Paper Session on Mathematics and Technology 
Saturday January 13, 2018, 11:30 a.m.-11:40 a.m.

Philip B. Yasskin*, Texas A&M University 
Andrew Crenwelge, Texas A&M University 
Joseph Martinsen, Texas A&M University 
Matthew Weihing, Texas A&M University 
Matthew Barry, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station 


Applying Maple Technology in Calculus Teaching To Create Artwork. 

MAA General Contributed Paper Session on Teaching and Learning Calculus, II 
Saturday January 13, 2018, 2:15 p.m.

Lina Wu*, Borough of Manhattan Community College-The City University of New York


If you are attending the Joint Math meetings this week and plan on presenting anything on Maple, please feel free to let me know and I'll update this list accordingly.

See you in San Diego!


Maple Product Manager

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In the beginning, Maple had indexed names, entered as x[abc]; as early as Maple V Release 4 (mid 1990s), this would display as xabc. So, x[1] could be used as x1, a subscripted variable; but assigning a value to x1 created a table whose name was x. This had, and still has, undesirable side effects. See Table 0 for an illustration in which an indexed variable is assigned a value, and then the name of the concomitant table is also assigned a value. The original indexed name is destroyed by these steps.


At one time this quirk could break commands such as dsolve. I don't know if it still does, but it's a usage that those "in the know" avoid. For other users, this was a problem that cried out for a solution. And Maplesoft did provide such a solution by going nuclear - it invented the Atomic Variable, which subsumed the subscript issue by solving a larger problem.

The larger problem is this: Arbitrary collections of symbols are not necessarily valid Maple names. For example, the expression  is not a valid name, and cannot appear on the left of an assignment operator. Values cannot be assigned to it. The Atomic solution locks such symbols together into a valid name originally called an Atomic Identifier but now called an Atomic Variable. Ah, so then xcan be either an indexed name (table entry) or a non-indexed literal name (Atomic Variable). By solving the bigger problem of creating assignable names, Maplesoft solved the smaller problem of subscripts by allowing literal subscripts to be Atomic Variables.

It is only in Maple 2017 that all vestiges of "Identifier" have disappeared, replaced by "Variable" throughout. The earliest appearance I can trace for the Atomic Identifier is in Maple 11, but it might have existed in Maple 10. Since Maple 11, help for the Atomic Identifier is found on the page 


In Maple 17 this help could be obtained by executing help("AtomicIdentifier"). In Maple 2017, a help page for AtomicVariables exists.

In Maple 17, construction of these Atomic things changed, and a setting was introduced to make writing literal subscripts "simpler." With two settings and two outcomes for a "subscripted variable" (either indexed or non-indexed), it might be useful to see the meaning of "simpler," as detailed in the worksheet AfterMath.mw.

plot in radians

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